September 20, 2017 Subject:
This is 4/25. 4/24 does not circulate.
It's hard to objectively review this oft-noted show. It's for the hardcore and old-schoolers, since we only have an early-qual AUD, but from what you can hear it was a phenomenal show to witness. This is at the Fillmore [named for Bill Graham in a jibe at other area promoters; though there is a Fillmore St nearby. Leasees Live Nation, after reopening Graham's original Fillmore in San Fran, have since extended the Fillmore name to venues in other cities]. Back when it was the Mammoth the stage was on the side instead of the end, and they let in about 4000, so lots of bad sound positions/seats. It's an old roller rink that then became the factory for the Fritchle electric car, which was so far ahead of its time it even had regenerative braking!
It's been established that this is the 25th. The 24th has never surfaced (it's too bad we don't have it because the encore was John Hammond backed by Pigpen on harp and guitar). The electricity was shut off twice, to get the band to quit (which they did as it was then around 2am). It's been suggested that there may have been an electric set first, but the majority opinion is that the acoustic set was longer instead - that we're missing a couple openers. Probably two from Deep Elem, Deep Jordan, Speedway, Dough Knees, Dire, Black Peter, Silver Threads, or Katie Mae. Because, after Uncle John's, Phil says "we're gonna bring out the electric set".
These shows came during some experimentation. The previous shows were at Family Dog, billed as "Mickey & the Hart Beats with Bobby Ace and His Cards from the Bottom of the Deck!" (officially released as Family Dog at the Great Highway)! The next date we have is 5/1 (with the great New Speedway). We only have a partial show here but it's still 1:44! Eyewitnesses have said people were baffled by the folk music, as it was not generally known that they had originally evolved from a jug/folk band, and Workingman's had not yet been released. So, the punters would have been most familiar with Live/Dead, and that's what they shout for. The previous show at the venue was Jethro Tull. There used to be a kitchen at the north end (where the stage is now) and during that show some person in a hospital gown got in there and stabbed himself in the chest. A few months after these shows the venue closed for 11 yrs.
First Set. Starts a few songs in with I Know You Rider. They keep going for 8min but it's a very basic, throwback version. Under-2-min Dead songs do exist! See Monkey & the Engineer! Friend of the Devil is the 10th one and the excellence comes through. At this point it's hard to hear Phil or Billy - it's pretty much just Jer. The response to Uncle John's Band indicates they played it the night before. It's just about perfect; a SBD or better AUD would be great.
Second Set. Easy Wind is great; gods a SBD of this would be brilliant. There might be a song between Cumberland and Dire - probably a Bobby tune (BioDtL or TOO, since he already did a M&MU and Pig was ill and kept resting offstage). Dire Wolf is okay - more dynamic than most - but it's the Dark Star that stands out. Also more dynamic and episodic, the crowd finally enters familiar territory. There's a Feelin' Groovy@13min that becomes a Tighten Up@13:50. The cannon is loud on Saint Stephen but the stellar playing is on The Eleven, especially at the 10min mark (not the best part of the recording). After a brief Drum solo it enters a Jam into Good Lovin', which is missing at a cut. There may be a missing CR&S. It's a Man's World cuts on during the jam but it's mic-hidden-in-pocket sounding.
1st Set: B- (given what we have in the condition we have it) 2nd Set: A
Overall = 4 Stars
Friend of the Devil - the 10th one
Uncle John's Band - the source may be challenging but the playing is great
Easy Wind - brilliant
Dark Star - the scenery and segues are good
The Eleven - astonishing
SOURCES: The balance is bad on the cotsman_9498. The gillis_17685 is pitched too slow. The remaster_sirmick_27205 is best, with the pitch fluctuations painstakingly settled.
mthurman - The mp3 sounds the same - it's your gear. MP3 encoding compresses the data (not the frequencies) and it samples not only well-beyond the original tape (by over 10khz) but beyond the range of human hearing.
May 20, 2017 Subject:
Nice recording for 1970
Standing a bit back from the stage, taper did a very good job here. Wonderful show with increasingly rare version of The Eleven.
April 20, 2017 Subject:
I can hear that it's a good show; can't be sure about phenomenal. Definitely a nice Dark Star. Sound quality makes it tinny & bottomless, though not too much of a chore to listen to.
Yet another decent sounding audience recording that is being derided by reviewers here. Clearly many of you don't really want to hear what the band actually sounded like in the hall on the night!
To my mind the (in this case minor) loss of fidelity is well worth it because you gain so much in terms of 'room' ambience and 'crowd' atmosphere. Bands often use hall acoustics to their advantage and the Dead were no exception to this. Soundboards sadly eliminate this aspect completely, which creates a false picture of what the concert was *really* like.
Anyway, this show also happens to be a real winner with a top notch 'Dark Star'. Thanks for the transfer Sir 'ET' Mick.
April 6, 2010 Subject:
Well worth it
Sound quality requires some patience, and maybe years of listening to multi-gen audience cassettes gave me more of this than other reviewers. However, considering the quality of the performance and the lack of vault material from this period, Mick's cleaned-up version of this show is worth anyone's while. The listener is rewarded with a beautiful Dark Star, followed by a rollicking St. Stephen, which flows into one of the best-ever renditions of The Eleven. Other tunes are also well played. Thanks Mick!
BTW, go straight for the shn, as the mp3 compresses out a good bit of the already limited frequency range of the recording. And you will want to hear ALL of this that there is to hear.
July 11, 2009 Subject:
dark star and eleven - SICK!
Yes, the sound leaves a lot to be desired, but the Dark Star and Eleven here are intense and totally worth a listen, especially the Eleven. You can hear Garcia quite clearly and he goes OFF!
January 3, 2008 Subject:
Nice SirMick cleanup of a so so 1970 aud tape
Due to the fact that this is in fact, an aud from 1970, the sound on the acoustic set is rather weak but the sound does get better by the time Dark Star starts.
April 5, 2005 Subject:
Pretty tin canny and far away sounding.
I can't listen to it.